Plague - Experience

Please describe your experience with plague.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

What is plague?

Plague is generally defined as epidemic disease or affliction that causes high mortality or widespread calamity or misery (for example, the biblical plagues of Egypt cited in the Bible). However, the first definition, in most medical dictionaries, define plague as a disease caused by bacteria. This article will only discuss plague as caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.

Plague, a disease that is endemic in some animal populations (mainly rodents), is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium. This bacterium can be transmitted to humans, usually by a vector such as fleas. Plague usually starts with a flea bite where Y. pestis is transmitted from the flea bite site to lymph nodes that swell (buboes). This type of plague is termed bubonic plague. The bacteria can spread into the bloodstream and eventually infect other organs. In some patients, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream without lymph node swelling (termed septicemic plague); in others, the patients can inhale or swallow droplets that contain Y. pestis that infect the lungs (termed pneumonic plague). Death occurs in about 50%-90% of all people who develop infection with Y. pestis and are not treated; even with treatment, about 15% of infected people will still die. Epidemics of this devastating disease have occurred many times in the past. Skin areas and buboes in untreated people may become dark or a black color as the disease progresses, so plague was originally termed "Black Death." In addition, it has been associated with the term pestilence that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as "a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating; especially: bubonic plague."

Return to Plague


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!